Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce


Let me just start by saying that this meal is not a looker, but it is over the top tasty. So don’t let the photos throw you off.

If you enjoy Asian/Indian food, then you’ll like this one. This is another favorite in the Fischer household, and while I wouldn’t put it on the “quick and easy” list, I would definitely put it on the “worth it” list.

To make Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce, you will need:

Salt, pepper, ground coriander, cumin, ground cloves, cinnamon, chili powder, turmeric  skinless chicken breasts, red onion (not pictured), garlic, olive oil, coconut milk, cornstarch (not pictured), jalapeños, Worcestershire sauce, basil, fresh ginger, and cooked rice or quinoa.

In a small bowl, mix together salt,  pepper, ground coriander, cumin, ground cloves, cinnamon, chili powder, and turmeric and set aside. Rinse and dry your chicken breasts and cut into bite size pieces. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add about 1 Tbsp olive oil. Dice the onion and jalapeños (remove the seeds and membrane if you want to make it less spicy). Caution: do not touch your eyes, nose, lips, or any sensitive body parts after slicing open your jalapenos and touching them. If you have latex gloves, wear them!  Cook onion and jalapenos for 3-5 minutes and then add in your garlic. Stir around for 30 seconds and remove mixture from skillet and set aside. Use the same pan for the next step.

Add in another Tbsp of olive oil and add half of the chicken pieces to the pan, spreading out evenly so they are not over crowded. Brown for a few minutes on each side. When the chicken pieces are cooked through and no more pink remains, remove from pan and add to onion/pepper/garlic mixture. Repeat step with the second half of the chicken.

Add the coconut milk, minus 2 Tbsp, to the pan. Pour the remaining 2 Tbsp in a small bowl and mix in cornstarch. Add the cornstarch mixture to the skillet with the rest of the coconut milk (this will thicken mixture since coconut milk is much lighter than heavy cream). Continue to stir as mixture bubbles and thickens. Next mix in the Worcestershire sauce (mixture will become a light brown color as seen above).

Add in the chicken mixture back in the skillet and add in basil and ginger. Cook for 2 more minutes to allow flavors to set. Remove from heat and serve over rice or quinoa.

And there you have it folks. Basil chicken in coconut curry sauce!

Measurements (yields 4 modest portions, but we typically double the chicken and spices):

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 lb skinless, chicken breasts (you can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
  • 1 large red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1 14-oz can coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • Hot cooked rice or quinoa

Recipe adapted from here.